Commissioners add $17,000 to HEB contract to plan parking expansion

December 30, 2013
BERLIN — The county commissioners added $17,000 to an existing $12,000 contract with HEB Engineers, Inc., of North Conway at their Dec. 13 meeting. The contract amendment directs HEB to provide engineering, design and permitting services to expand the parking lot onto the north side of the Cos County Nursing Home.

Members of the county delegation of state representatives had suggested at their most recent meeting that adding more parking spaces would remedy a problem that all had experienced — having no place to park.

The project to which this new contract has been attached started as a simple request to fix the existing entrance to the multi-story facility so that it would be safer for using wheelchairs and walkers.

This, however, led engineers to discover that the approaches to the three-story facility, located on Cates Hill, is not compliant with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

HEB's original design work was expanded to allow the project to correct longstanding deficits in a building that is occupied by many residents with physical mobility issues.

HEB engineer Jay Poulin was on hand at the Dec. 13 meeting. He will be the project manager responsible for all client liaison, project team direction and overall project quality. Engineer in Training Thomas Chingas will be in charge of all the technical aspects.

HEB will draw up specifications, put the project out to bid and recommend which contractor should be hired to do the work that will be done over the summer.

Construction disruption will like last for up to two months, and an exterior door into the Edgar Mears Sunroom will be used temporarily as the facility's main entrance.

At its July meeting, also in Berlin, county administrator Jennifer Fish and Berlin nursing home administrator Louise Belanger presented a $12,000 proposal submitted by HEB Engineers to prepare drawings and specs for the redesign of the front Berlin nursing home's entrance to make it safer and also to assist with the Request for Proposals process. The sketches the firm had previously submitted were not detailed enough to use as bidding documents.

At that meeting, when chairman Tom Brady asked whether this proposed $12,000 contract would be, in essence, waiving the bid process, vice chairman Paul Grenier stated that the firm would prepare the specs and mail out the RFPs on a project that had already started. He pointed out that the engineering costs are typically 15 percent of the project.

Grenier also noted for the record that his son is an HEB employee who works on the civil engineering side and not on the structural side, so he would not have any involvement with the project.

Commissioner Rick Samson was assured that the board would review HEB's recommendations and act on them.

The commissioners voted unanimously to accept the HEB's bid.

The county's July and December HEB contracts total $29,000 when added together.

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